Adelaide Film Festival Audience Awards Announced! Sweet Country Wins Best Feature!





Warwick Thornton’s frontier western Sweet Country, which marked its Australian Premiere at the 2017 ADL Film Fest, was voted Best Feature Fiction in the 2017 ADL Film Fest Audience Awards. Best Feature Documentary went to Axel Grigor’s entertaining portrait of Australian film editing legend Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, while Best Short Film went to Back to Back Theatre’s HIVE project film Oddlands – with both films marking their World Premieres at the event.

Amanda Duthie, Artistic Director and CEO of ADL Film Fest said “From all the amazing films from all over the world premiering in the Festival, the audience has chosen three peculiarly Australian stories as their favourites, Australians want to see their stories and identity reflected on the big screen, and that is delivered so brilliantly in these three titles.”

The Audience Awards, presented by the festival’s new venue partner GU Film House, were voted by the audience following each screening in the festival.

GU Film House Area General Manager Anthony Kierann said “GU Film House is proud to be the partner for the Audience Awards. One of the key principles of GU Film house is the cinema experience for the audience, and its  wonderful to award these films that have had such an impact on the festival audience. Congratulations to the winners for presenting such unique film experiences and the Adelaide Film Festival for presenting so many amazing films during the festival for the audience to consider.“

The Audience Awards complement the Awards already presented by the ADL Film Fest’s International Juries of the Adelaide Film Festival which presented the International Best Feature Fiction Award to I Am Not A Witch (France, United Kingdom)the Flinders University Best Documentary Award to Taste of Cement (Germany, Syria Qatar, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates), and the inaugural AFTRS International VR Award to Michelle and Uri Kranot’s Nothing Happens (Denmark, France).

Best Feature Fiction – Sweet Country

Produced by Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey, Sweet Country Australian Premiered with two sold out sessions, and was attended by director Warwick Thornton, producer Greer Simpkin, writer Steven McGregor, writer and co-producer David Tranter, and the stars of the film, newcomers Hamilton Morris, Natassia Gorey-Furber and Gibson John, joined by Matt Day and Thomas M Wright.

An ADL Film Fest Fund film Sweet Country received major production investment and development support from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, Create NSW and Screen Territory. Transmission Films will release Sweet Country nationally on January 25.

Best Feature Documentary – Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible

Best Documentary winner Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, is a hugely entertaining documentary about the editor behind Baz Luhrmann’s red curtain trilogy of Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001), Australian classics Muriel’s Wedding (1994), Dogs in Space (1986) and The Dressmaker (2015) among many others. Bilcock’s cheeky charm and illuminating appearances by key collaborators make this a must-see for film lovers.

Directed and produced by Axel Grigor with cinematographer and producer Faramarz K-Rahber, executive producer is Sue Maslin and editors Scott Walton and Axel Grigor  Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible was produced by Faraway Productions in association with Film Art Media with the assistance of Soundfirm. Developed and produced with the assistance of FILM VICTORIA. Produced with the assistance of SCREEN QUEENSLAND. In association with ABC . Principal Development and Production funding from SCREEN AUSTRALIA,

Best Short – Oddlands

Best Short Film winner Oddlands received the support of HIVE, a unique initiative which brings together creatives from the arts and film, established by the ADL Film Fest with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, Screen Australia and ABC Arts.

Produced by the acclaimed Back to Back Theatre Company together with Matchbox Pictures, in Oddlands, Des and Tam are members of a clean-up crew in a strange toxic wasteland. It’s a lousy job, but it’s the best they can get, and it may just get them what they want. A story about two unlikely heroes who manage to find a little hope in the strangest of places, directed by Bruce Gladwin, Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre

ODDLANDS has also received endorsement from Film Victoria via Assigned Production Investment Fund for Film & Television and its Regional Location Assistance Fund, as well as the Thyne Reid Foundation, Anthony Costa Foundation and the City of Greater Geelong.